In 2017, 9,103 people were recorded as presenting to hospital due to self-harm in Ireland, according to new figures released by the National Suicide Research Foundation (NSRF) Self Harm Registry.
The registry recorded 11,600 presentations to hospital due to self-harm nationally, involving 9,103 persons.
The rate of individuals presenting to hospital following self-harm was 199 per 100,000 – 3% lower than in 2016 and 11% lower than the peak rate in 2010. However, the rate in 2017 was still 6% higher than in 2007.
The highest rates of self-harm were consistently recorded in young people. Since 2007, the rate self-harm among young people has increased by 21%. The increase has been most pronounced for females and young adults.
In 2017, a total of 591 presentations were made by people of no fixed abode, an increase of 13% from 2016. While representing a small proportion of overall presentations, those who are homeless are a particularly vulnerable population. A recent publication from the Registry found that the incidence of self-harm was 30 times higher among the homeless population, underlining the need to explore specific challenges of treating self-harm among the homeless is required.
Dr Eve Griffin, Manager, National-Self-Harm Registry Ireland, National Suicide Research Foundation said: “The increase in self-harm among young people signals an unmet need in terms of mental health services for children and adolescents. Effective interventions are needed for young people at risk of self-harm. School-based programmes to promote positive mental health should also be a priority”.
Dr Paul Corcoran, Head of Research, National Suicide Research Foundation, added: “The Registry reports on referrals for patients who are discharged from the emergency depart following a self-harm presentation. Obtaining information on subsequent care pathways for self-harm patients should be prioritised in order to better assess their outcomes.”
Alcohol, self-harm and suicide was the focus of an all-island seminar organised and live streamed by IPH on behalf of the North-South Alcohol Policy Advisory Group in Dublin in May 2017. Presentations and audio can be accessed here.